Let the Saquon Barkley-Sam Darnold debate officially begin

Let the Saquon Barkley-Sam Darnold debate officially begin

Welcome to Day 1 of the Great Saquon-Sam Debate.

Saquon or Sam, Sam or Saquon. It will rage all season … perhaps forever.

With each step Sam Darnold takes toward the Jets’ starting quarterback job, more than a few Giants fans are sure to be asking themselves: “Why the hell didn’t we pick him?”

Unless and until Saquon Barkley gives irrefutable evidence he will be that gold-jacket running back who helps 37-year-old Eli Manning stalk that elusive third Super Bowl championship.

Or until general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur identify Manning’s successor — be it Davis Webb or Kyle Lauletta or someone else.

The Kick Ass GM was bent on kicking 3-13 in the ass with a Win Now game plan.

Darnold’s development will put the Giants’ Win Now approach under more of a microscope in 2018 and beyond. And beyond will be as early as 2019 when, if offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is a quarterback whisperer, the Sam Darnold Jets will be a Win Now team.

Gettleman didn’t have the same conviction on Darnold — or any of the other Class of 2018 quarterbacks — that Ernie Accorsi had on Manning in 2004, not even close.

Win Now with Barkley only has a chance to work if Gettleman and Shurmur are right when they assure Giants fans that Manning has “years left.”

Barkley was considered by many as the best player in the draft, and as part of a tandem with Odell Beckham Jr. for the next five years, will be any quarterback’s best friend. With an upgraded offensive line and Shurmur’s play-calling expertise, the Giants are betting the cynics who rail that Manning is in decline will be proven wrong.

Barkley is such a rare talent — a big man with little man moves and a Le’Veon Bell-David Johnson pass-catching threat — that if anyone has a chance to mitigate the notion that it is shortsighted folly to draft a running back with the second pick over a franchise quarterback, it is him.

Gettleman was so seduced by Barkley’s generational running back promise that he had no reservations about gifting the Jets their long-lost franchise quarterback.

“I don’t care,” Gettleman said. “All I care about is the New York Football Giants and every decision we make will be in the best interest of the New York Football Giants.”

Saquon brought Giants fans to their feet with his 39-yard run the first time he touched the ball.

Sam had Jets fans showering him with kudos on the sidelines in the fourth quarter following his smashing debut.

It is inevitable, of course, that Saquon will fumble. It is inevitable, of course, that Sam will throw interceptions.

Saquon would be the smiling, charismatic face of any franchise. Same with Sam. The game isn’t too big for them. The stage isn’t too big or bright for them.

They both appear too good to be true. Saquon and Sam work on their craft as if they were free agents. Neither showed up with any sense of entitlement. Both are dream prospects. The Giants are lucky to have Saquon. The Jets are lucky to have Sam.

Saquon has that athletic arrogance — only on the field — you find in athletes who have an unyielding belief in themselves. Sam is the antithesis of what Bill Parcells used to call a celebrity quarterback. Parcells wanted blue-collar battlefield commanders who cared more about winning than being stars.

Just a hunch that Parcells would have found a way to abide Broadway Joe Namath. The only bright lights Sam seems interested in are the bright lights that enable him to study plays on his iPad.

Gettleman couldn’t go wrong with Saquon.

Unless Sam beats Manning or Manning’s successor to the Super Bowl. Or the Giants are back to Sucking for some other Sam.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of